Our first Young Inventor Challenge was held at the Toy and Game Expo on November 2, 2013. The Young Inventor Challenge provides an opportunity for youth ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy and game inventions to industry professionals, members of the media and the general public. Each entrant was asked to create a poster display and bring their prototype to the event. We had space at the expo where the entrants could set up their entries and share their inventions.
This year we had had three game entries and one toy entry. Only three entrants were able to participate during the day itself.
One of our game entries was a card game. Denver, age 9, invented a card game for two or more players called Simple 7. Each player uses their own deck of cards and deals seven cards in a set pattern and starts subtracting. This game was fast, fun, and educational too! It gave the players a good chance to practice some basic math skills.
Danica, age 8, entered a board game for two players called Alien Attack. Each player chooses which planet they are from and then rolls a die to advance to the other player's home row. On the way, you collect rare minerals and watch out for asteroid hits and alien attacks. This is an enjoyable game. Danica put a lot of effort into her prototype. I liked the bright colours of the board and the glittery rocks that were the rare minerals.
Thiernault, age 8, entered the third game into the challenge, Carnivorous Jungle Ants. Unfortunately, Thiernault couldn't attend the challenge but was able to send his prototype and poster board in for display. Thiernault's dad is a game designer and we were all impressed with the quality of the prototype. There were pieces re-used from other games and some good printed materials. It gave all of the inventor's good ideas for next year!
And finally, our one toy entrant was my son, Nanik, age 11. Nanik dreamed of life-sized building bricks and thought it would be safest if they were made of something soft. So he invented Felt Forts which are giant soft blocks that are held together with magnets. Nanik sewed the bricks himself and experimented with different types of magnets. He's still looking for the perfect solution but brought three of his prototype bricks in for display.
At the end of the day all of the entrants who attended received some great prizes donated by Filosofia. They were excited and inspired after spending the day at the Toy and Game Expo. All of them pledged to come back with new inventions next year.
Okay, the prototype's done and you've registered for the Young Inventor Challenge. Have you put together your Poster Board Display yet? If you have, good for you! If you haven't, don't panic, here are some tips for putting your display together:
1. Use a folding 3-panel board. You can buy one at the store or make one yourself!
2. Put the name of your invention front and center. It should be the first thing you see when you look at the display.
3. Use bright colours to draw attention to your prototype.
4. Make sure the information you are presenting is clear. If you've worked your way through the Inventor's Workbook, you already have all the information you need to put on your display.
5. Have fun putting together your display! Take a break and take a step back. Try looking at your display from across the room to see what catches your eye.
Good luck working with your displays. We're looking forward to meeting everyone on Saturday!